WCFC Sale's Team Visit To PanamaNovember 30, 2012
Christmas came early this year for members of The West Coast Fishing Club’s Sales team as we took some time off from our busy Vancouver head office to visit our Panama operation. With our bags packed, our sea legs ready and visions of 1,000lb. marlin dancing in our heads we were excited for the adventure that lay ahead of us.
After a day of travel, we touched down in Panama City at Tocumen International Airport. Considered to be a first class international airport, with traffic of more than 5 million passengers per year it is the busiest in Central America. As we disembarked from the plane, outside of our gate we were greeted by one of the friendly West Coast Fishing Club airport staff who guided us quickly and seamlessly through customs and into the WCFC VIP lounge. In the lounge, we enjoyed local beer and snacks while the staff picked up our baggage from the carousel and took it to the van waiting outside to escort us into the city.
The drive from the Airport into the downtown is an interesting passage through the underdeveloped outer rings of the suburbs into the high density downtown core. A booming metropolis with a population of 1.35 million people, Panama City is a sight to behold. High rise buildings dominate the landscape and house a large number of the Panamanians that populate the area. Panama City is definitely a city on the move attracting manufacturing and service businesses from around the world and home to offices of more than 90 national and multinational banks that operate in the country.
- Panama City Skyline
In Panama, there are many options for accommodation and we have developed close relationships with four of the best hotels in the city. Whether you choose to stay at the Hard Rock, The Meridian, The Trump, or Casa Del Horno you can’t go wrong as they are all world class and located in the heart of the city never more than ten minutes away from restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. We chose to stay at The Hard Rock; characterized by it’s musical heritage, funky decor, and lively atmosphere.
That night out on the town we indulged in traditional ceviche, delicious rib eye steaks and perfectly paired fine wines at Market, one of the cities most popular restaurants. We then visited one of the many casinos to let our luck roll, before returning to The Hard Rock to get some much needed rest.
The next day we traveled in one of our freshly tuned, luxury game boats, from Panama City to Las Perlas Islands where the Pacific Provider is moored. Upon arrival we were greeted by the Assistant Manager, the charismatic Alex Kordic, who heads up an amazing service staff. If you ever been to one of our northern properties you know that a world class service culture is to be expected from The West Coast Fishing Club. Through careful hiring and proper training, the same standard of excellence has been implemented in Panama. The general manager Elliot Stark, whose fishing knowledge is seemingly boundless, heads the professional and courteous staff; whose attention to detail made our stay extremely enjoyable.
Once we finished introductions and the glasses of welcome aboard champagne, it was time for our tour. We all had high expectations, but at the same time didn’t know what to expect from a former Deadliest Catch fishing vessel transformed into a luxury floating resort. We were all blown back at the transformation and agreed the pictures on our website do not do the place justice.
Like our northern properties, the Pacific Provider has all of the luxury amenities guest’s of The West Coast Fishing Club have come to expect. A beautiful family style dining room, spacious and comfortably furnished lounges, indoor and outdoor bars stocked to stand up to any drink order, and state rooms with wonderful beds that you will have a hard time getting out of in the morning.
We were spoiled with the food produced by our chef’s whose focus on local, fresh fare and quality ingredients was evident in all of their dishes. All of this located in a pristine tropical island setting with no pressure from any other fishing resort for miles! Even if you don’t enjoy fishing it is impossible not to love it here.
Unlike the guests who are fortunate to have many days fishing, we unfortunately had limited fishing time so we were anxious to get at it…it was a work trip after all. So with time at a premium, instead of venturing far offshore to chase the illustrious marlin we opted to tackle the productive inshore fishery of Las Perlas Islands and had great success! We caught a big sail, multiple beautifully colored dorado, one of the ocean’s fastest swimming fish the wahoo, the hard fighting cubera snapper, spanish mackerel, and a few other coastal residents along the way. Out on the boat the lines were tight, the sun was hot, and the drinks were cold; needless to say fun was had by all!
Our first trip to Panama with The West Coast Fishing Club was nothing but spectacular and all I can say is the more time you can spend down there the better. The fishing and Pacific Provider are world class and a trip to Panama would not be complete without spending some time touring the city. Panama city offers so much to explore from the Panama Canal one of the wonders of the world; to the streets of Casco Viejo (the old city), which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a cultural experience not to be missed. You will not find a shortage of activities to keep you entertained.
Unlike North America, Central America is not logistically an easy place to pull off a world class resort. Through patience, hard work, and creativity The West Coast Fishing Club have pulled it off. This is only the beginning, as we look forward to the completion of our land based resort, which is going to be one of a kind. The property is beautiful and the building plans spectacular.
The West Coast Fishing Club truly does have you covered north to south. Call us today and we would love to talk to you about our experience in Panama and help get you down there. We are in this business because we believe in it and love the product.
If you have visited one of our properties you know what I am talking about and if not, we invite you to come love it too!